In this article we assume that you are starting your WR1s regardless of the matchup.
Each week we will analyze the defenses and provide our take on which WRs you should start and which should be benched based on matchups with stout run defenses, stubbed toes, potential weather problems, conduct code violations etc.
The following Defenses are allowing 17 or fewer fantasy points per game to opposing pass catchers (over the past 5 weeks): Carolina, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Seattle and Pittsburgh. It’s worth noting that the stout secondaries in Seattle and Pittsburgh will both be missing key pieces in week 14. Steeler shutdown CB Ike Taylor will miss at least two games with a leg injury elevating Charger WR Danario Alexander to solid WR3 status. Brandon Browner dropped his appeal and will miss the final 4 games of the season after testing positive for PEDs (fellow CB Richard Sherman will play as he intends to appeal). Larry Fitzgerald late season swoon should continue but he has a decent chance of moderate production with John Skelton returning against the short handed Seattle pass defense.
On the flip side, these defenses (Dallas, Tampa, Houston, Oakland, and Detroit) have been shredded by passing games and are allowing 27 or more fantasy points per game to opposing WRs (over the past 5 weeks). Houston CB Jonathan Joseph is expected to miss the Monday nighter against New England.
As always, injuries will surely play a role in your lineup decisions. Be sure to check out our interactive INJURY REPORT with fantasy advice to stay up to date on all of the fantasy relevant injuries.
A few big name pass catchers will be dealing with bumps & bruises in week 14. Percy Harvin owners can now safely send him to the waiver wire as he’s been placed on IR. Outside of TE Kyle Rudolph , no other Viking WR should be in lineups against the Bears defense. The Packers Jordy Nelson seems unlikely to suit up after reinjuring his hamstring in week 13. The Sunday Night kickoff against a floundering Detroit secondary elevates James Jones and Greg Jennings to solid WR3 options. Jags breakout star Cecil Shorts has been ruled out with a concussion which means Justin Blackmon will draw Antonio Cromartie – no thanks. The Giants enter a crucial game against New Orleans at less than full strength as Hakeem Nicks is dealing with more knee problems but was able to practice on Friday. The game has shootout potential but make sure you have a backup plan due to the 4pm kickoff. Rams PPR monster Danny Amendola is also a game time decision for a matchup against a Bills defense that has been much more stingy over the past month (Chris Givens owners are hoping Amendola rests). Bengal AJ Green was a late addition to the injury report as he missed Friday’s practice with an illness (for now we expect him to suit up against Dallas).
Wide Receiver Upgrades
Pierre Garcon (vs Baltimore): Better late than Never for Garcon owners as the first year Redskin has started to justify the 5-year $42 million contract over the past two weeks totaling 12 catches for 192 yards and two TDs.
In week 14, Washington face a favorable matchup against an injury riddled Baltimore defense that ranks 23rd against the pass (247 YPG). The Raven secondary has allowed the least passing TDs (10) and rank 12th in fantasy scoring allowed to WRs over the past 5 weeks. The Battle for the Beltway has solid scoring potential and Vegas agrees based on the 47 point Over/Under.
Lance Moore (@ NY Giants): The 7th year wideout from Toledo racked up his most yardage on the season in week 13 finishing with 7 catches for 123 yards in the Thursday night loss to Atlanta. On the season, Moore is averaging 75 YPG with four touchdowns. This week the Saints will be fighting for the playoff lives in a game that figures to keep the scoreboard operators very busy (highest Over/Under of the week at 53 points). The G-men front four could give Drew Brees problems, but they have been burned on the backend repeatedly this season. New York ranks 22nd in pass defense and are allowing the 10th most fantasy PPG to WRs over the past 5 weeks. Moore has topped 90 yards or found the end zone in 3 of his past 4 games and both seem possible this week making him a WR with solid top 25 potential.
Greg Jennings / James Jones (vs Detroit): Jordy Nelson re-injured his hamstring in the week 13 win and after missing practice all week seems very unlikely to be in uniform on Sunday Night. In Nelson’s absence, Greg Jennings returned to the lineup and led the Pack with 8 targets (finished with 4 catches for 46 yards). The matchup against a Detroit defense allowing the most fantasy PPG (29) to opposing WRs over the past 5 weeks should be just what the doctor ordered for fantasy owners that kept Jennings rostered during his injury plagued season. James Jones leads the team with 9 touchdowns and played more snaps than any Packer WR in week 13. Despite limited targets, Jones’ prowess in the red zone leaves him solidly on the WR3 radar in a game with shootout potential.
Wide Receiver Downgrades
Dwayne Bowe (vs Cleveland): The musical chairs at QB in KC has not done impending free agent Dwayne Bowe any favors as he’s averaging just 60 YPG with three TDs on the season (hasn’t scored since week 4).
A showdown with CB Joe Haden will also not help Bowe snap out of his season long funk. The Browns pass defense ranks 24th against the pass (252) but that is skewed by Haden’s 4 game suspension. The Browns defense has been much improved of late and this figures to be a low scoring game (Over/Under set at 38 points) leaving Bowe as a lower tier WR3.
Miles Austin (@ Cincinnati): The 6th year WR has battled hip and hamstring issues and is averaging 64 YPG with 5 touchdowns on the season. The Bengals 11th ranked pass defense (2221 YPG) has allowed the 3rd fewest fantasy PPG to opposing WRs over the past 5 weeks. During the past three weeks, Austin has seen just 16 targets taking a backseat to Dez (32 targets) and Witten (31 targets). Austin is expected to matchup with the Bengals best CB Leon Hall so consider your alternatives before penciling him into your lineups for week 14.
Sidney Rice (vs Arizona): The 6th year WR from South Carolina has been on quite a tear recently, as Rice has scored 5 times over his past 5 games including the game winner in OT of the week 13 win in Chicago. He sustained a vicious hit on the OT scoring play but has been cleared for concussion symptoms and is listed as probable for the 4pm kickoff. Despite the recent hot streak, the week 14 matchup with Arizona’s 3rd ranked defense is one to avoid if you have other WRs with better matchups. In the week 1 showdown with CB Patrick Peterson, Rice was held to just 4 catches for 36 yards but did haul down a TD. This game is shaping up as a low scoring defensive struggle (lowest Over/Under of the week at 36 points) which will keep Rice as more of a WR3 in a difficult matchup.
Wide Receiver Sleepers:
TY Hilton (vs Tennessee): The rookie speedster from Florida International posted his fourth 100 yard game in the week 13 win over Detroit and should produced solid numbers this week against a struggling Titan defense.
Tennessee is ranked 26th against the pass (258 YPG) and have allowed the 2nd most passing TDs (24). Over the past 5 weeks, the Titans are allowing the 8th most fantasy PPG to opposing WRs. Over the past 5 weeks, Hilton ranks 2nd to Reggie Wayne with 44 targets and his big play ability (averaging 15 YPC) makes him a solid option with Andrew Luck firing on all cylinders especially at home in Lucas Oil Stadium.
Kenny Britt (vs Indianapolis): Britt is an ultra talented WR but multiple off the field issues and a slow recovery from an ACL injury and pedestrian QB play have sapped his production so far this season. In 10 games, the 4th year WR from Rutgers is averaging just 38 YPG with 3 TDs. He’s yet to top 70 yards in any game this season but has found pay dirt in back to back games and could make it three in a row against an Indy defense that has allowed the 21 TDs through the aire. The Colts pass defense is ranked 20th (240 YPG) and has allowed the 11th most fantasy PPG to WRs over the past 5 weeks. Jake Locker has the arm strength to take advantage of Britt’s downfield skill set and Britt is well worth rolling the dice on as a WR play with upside as the Titans could very well find themselves in a shootout as both defenses have struggled to keep points off the score board.
Mike Thomas (vs Green Bay): With knucklehead Titus Young suspended (deliberately ran wrong routes for some moronic reason) and Ryan Broyles ruled out for the season with another ACL injury – former Jag Mike Thomas could return to fantasy relevance as he gets the start opposite Megatron for the Sunday Nighter in Lambeau. Thomas has not been relevant since 2010 (totaled 820 yards and 4 TDs with the Jags) but played 90% of the snaps in week 13 after Ryan Broyles went down with a season ending ACL injury in the first quarter. Green Bay’s injury riddled defense will spend another week without CB Charles Woodson but their is optimism that he could return in week 15. The Pack are ranked 17th against the pass (234) and have yielded the 12th most fantasy PPG to wideouts over the past 5 weeks. Thomas very limited production and mediocre talent making him a desperation play but is one worth considering for owners that need to patrol the waiver wire for a fantasy replacement.